True followers of Jesus have pretty much always been on the margins of society. Sure, we have seen some exceptions to this; but even when we look back on the glory days of Christendom, things didn’t exactly turn out great. Believers in the western world have all but had a hay day basking in the societal acceptance of the church. But the tide is turning. The pangs of birth are being felt, the birth of a cultural tidal wave that looms over and seeks to destroy Biblical values.
How should the disciple of Christ respond? By accepting what has always been true. The world hates the message of the cross. Jesus told us to expect to be hated, just like He was hated. We have found too much comfort in this world and forgotten that we were meant for another.
To be viewed as an exile should be celebrated by the disciple of Jesus, not feared. Perhaps it is in this state that the gospel does its work. Perhaps when our beliefs are challenged we can finally understand what it is we truly believe. When our convictions are questioned we learn what it means to actually live with conviction. When faith is tested, maybe we discover who has actually been changed by it.
As believers in Jesus Christ, the church has the responsibility to be involved in the culture, and hopefully to even be involved with the creating of culture and those are two very different things. Jesus commanded that we go into the world and win souls for Christ in what we know as the “Great Commission”. So we cannot isolate ourselves from culture and the world, and we need not fear it. We must be active in it, while calling it to repentance.
What can you and I do? We can learn from the prophet Jeremiah. He is known as the Weeping Prophet, and he had the responsibility of warning the people of Judah of coming judgement. He had to watch as the people were killed, Jerusalem was destroyed, and thousands were taken into captivity.
Jeremiah 9:1 says: Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!
– Weep for a lost culture.
As you watch our world and culture move further from God and truth, your heart should certainly break.
Our eyes have been dry for far too long. People are hurting and broken, and we have allowed our hearts to be hardened.
Jeremiah wept over the loss of truth. He wept as he watched his people go through what they did.
We should be broken over sin. And that brokenness will lead us to a better place of understanding where we can actually love the lost and impact their lives.
– Ask God for humility.
Pride will never allow us to impact culture. When God spoke to Jeremiah for the first time, He told him that He wanted Jeremiah to speak for Him to the people.
Jeremiah’s response? I am but a child, I am not worthy to speak for you.
– Speak truth from that humility.
The Gospel must at some point be spoken and heard if we hope to see people transformed by the power of Gods Word.
Truth must be spoken, even if no one seems to listen.
Jeremiah spoke God’s warning, and love, to people, and he had to watch the consequences unfold.
– Call for repentance.
Beg the nations and culture to turn their hearts to God. We know that God is good, and it pleases His heart when people call out to Him.